Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Cracks in Earthquake-prone Buildings Bill

Is the Earthquake-prone Buildings Bill, a sequel to Psychoactive Substances?

The potential dragnet of the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill is so vast, both Federated Farmers and Rural Women NZ believe it could become a sequel to the Psychoactive Substances Bill, recently amended by Parliament due to public concerns.

“There’s a rainbow coalition of submitters telling Parliament that the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill needs reworking,” says Anders Crofoot, Federated Farmers building spokesperson.

“The proposed Bill requires all councils to assess buildings and requires owners to demolish or strengthen any earthquake-prone structures within 15 years.

“To us and many submitters, the cure for earthquake-prone buildings could destroy our provincial towns in order to save them.

“While seismic strengthening in high-rise Wellington and Auckland makes sense, that urban profile isn’t Masterton or Gore. While there are earthquake risks they’re not exactly the same,” Mr Crofoot added.

Rural Women NZ was likewise concerned by the Bill’s potential effect.

“Rural Women NZ endorses Federated Farmers submission,” says Noeline Holt, its Executive Director.

“Our provincial centres cannot match the massive square metre rents found in Newmarket or on Lambton Quay yet the seismic cost is the same.

“From looking at the submissions, we hope the Select Committee will recommend the Bill be amended to consider its real economic and social implications, as well as focussing on those things that’ll make a real impact on safety,” Ms Holt said

Federated Farmers agrees with Local Government New Zealand’s submission and wants the Bill to prioritise those communities at the greatest risk.

“Many of the safety objectives can be achieved by targeting buildings and building parts most likely to fail in earthquake prone areas. Even then, low rise buildings, so typical in our provincial towns do not seem to suffer from catastrophic failure,” Mr Crofoot continued.

“In other parts of the country, a focus on parapets, verandas and removing at risk items could greatly boost safety at the least social and financial cost.

“It is not as if rural and provincial New Zealand has not experienced earthquakes. Where I farm, Castlepoint, in Wararapa, we had a 6.2 quake only in 20 January but the damage related mostly to wine.

“Need I mention the Seddon, Darfield, Gisborne or Edgecumbe quakes? If the Bill proceeds unchanged we could see thriving towns turned into ghost towns.
“If the costs far exceed any sensible return building owners may board up or demolish. While that aids freedom squatters and clandestine labs it will not benefit those of us who live there.

“It is hard to disagree with the Property Council of New Zealand, which believes the Bill could work, but only if earthquake strengthening is made tax deductible, qualifying for depreciation.

“Seismic work does not add a cent to the value of a building, it only returns the building to the value it once had,” Mr Crofoot concluded.

Federated Farmers submission can be read here.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Northland By-Election

Supposedly, Winston Peters’ victory in Northland has exposed the simmering dissatisfaction with the government that exists out in the provinces. Yet it remains to be seen whether this defeat will have much significance – and not simply because if and when Labour resumes business as usual in the Northland seat at the next election, Peters’ hold on it could simply evaporate.

On Saturday, National’s electorate vote declined by 7,000 votes, as the 9,000 majority it won last September turned into a 4,000 vote deficit – mainly because Labour supporters followed the nod and wink given by Labour leader Andrew Little, and voted tactically for Peters. In the process, Labour’s vote went down from nearly 9,000 votes six months ago, to only 1,315 on Saturday. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news